VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 12 - Number 2 - Spring 2013

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Grand Opening
The Grand Opening of the McGlothlin Medical Education Center was a highlight of Reunion Weekend. Check out coverage: from the restored murals hanging in the lobby, to the donors who made it possible, along with stories on a unique collaboration that has created a standardized patient program and the team who ensures that curriculum changes are for the better. Plus photo galleries of Reunion Weekend and of a grand opening event with the McGlothlins.

Student News

Location, location, location
Match Day brought good news for the Class of 2013 who continued the medical school’s tradition of beating the national average. Thirty-nine percent of the students are headed into primary care, with dozens more matching into highly competitive fields. Our Match Day portal features a photo gallery, video, student profiles and a list of where the graduating students are headed for training. 

Students in the news
First-year student Abrahm Behnam is a contributing author on a new medical text. Third-year student Kate Pearson’s research will shape HOMBRE’s future work in Honduras. Social and Behavioral Health doctoral student Dana Laddhas co-authored The Medical Library Association Guide to Finding Out about Diabetes. 

Research News

Multiple Sclerosis Drug May One Day Treat Colorectal Cancer
Biochemistry Chair Sarah Spiegel, Ph.D., led a study that found fingolimod, a drug currently approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, could potentially eliminate or reduce the progression of colitis-associated cancer. Read more about Spiegel’s findings that were published in the journal Cancer Cell.

Pauley Heart Center is hub for recent activity
On the heels of announcing the Pauley Family Foundation’s $5 million gift and$2.4 million in grant funding from the AHA Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, investigators reported a novel anti-inflammatory drug may help to prevent heart failure and a mechanism by which injury occurs in the body following a heart attack. There are also new gifts honoring longtime faculty members George Vetrovec, M.D., and Michael Hess, M.D.

Clinical News

Unusual series of phased surgeries separates conjoined twins 
“As the girls became critically ill over the second week of their lives, we had to urgently separate their conjoined liver, as this was the source of their uncompensated cross circulation. However, complete separation at that time would almost assuredly have resulted in their deaths," said alumnus and faculty member David Lanning, M.D., Ph.D., who led the surgical team. Read more or watch a video describing the surgeries to separate the six-month-old conjoined twins from Franklin, Va. 

Breakthrough eye treatment debuts in Virginia
Ophthalmology Chair William Benson, M.D., is the first in Virginia to successfully implant a telescope in a patient's eye to treat macular degeneration. Read more about the implant that could improve vision for patients suffering from the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. 

Model of care for reducing poor birth outcomes 
A more than $1 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services supports the project Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns. Principal investigator is Family Medicine and Population Health’s Saba Masho, M.D., Dr.P.H., who is an expert in health disparities and comprehensive care for underserved pregnant women.

Alumni News

Two Alumni Honored at Reunion
Every year, the medical school honors two alumni for their outstanding achievements. This year, the Class of 1978’s Tom Scalea was named Outstanding Medical Alumnus and the Caravati Service Award went to the Class of 1973’s David Whitehead. Read more about their contributions at the links above. You can also see photos from Reunion Weekend and the McGlothlin Opening Gala and order those you like from Skip Rowland Photography.

Alumni in the news 
Housestaff alumna Tracey Dechert, a surgeon with Boston Medical’s trauma and critical care team, spoke to the NY Times about how their team made treatment decisions for the survivors of the Boston bombings. The Class of 1986's Bruce Rosenfeld returned to campus to describe for students about his path from a point guard to a surgeon. The Class of 1962’s Yvonnecris Smith Veal, one of the medical school’s first African American graduates, recalls the challenges and successes she encountered as a student at MCV in an age of segregation.

Faculty in the News
Physiology’s Louis De Felice, Ph.D., was honored by the Biophysical Society for his enduring and multifaceted efforts to encourage the development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics through outreach and education. Emeriti Professors Enrique Gerszten, M.D., and Marvin J. Allison, Ph.D., have published the Atlas of Paleopathology, a synthesis of more than 40 years of excavating and examining mummified remains. Pharmacology and Toxicology Professor and Chair William L. Dewey, Ph.D., received the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics/Experimental Biology’s 2013 Torald Sollmann Award. 

H.M. Lee, organ transplant pioneer, has died 
H. M. Lee, M.D., an internationally renowned pioneer in organ transplantation and former professor and chairman in the Division of Vascular and Transplant Surgery, died March 24 at the age of 87. Read more about Dr. Lee’s career that included, as the 11th president of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, advocacy for the passing of the National Organ Transplant Act and helping to found the organization that gave rise to the United Network for Organ Sharing. 

CME Opportunities 
For additional information and to register for the courses below, visit or call (804) 828-3640 or (800) 413-2872.

41st Annual Hans Berger Clinical Neurophysiology Symposium 
May 20 – 21, 2013
MCV Campus 

Distinguished faculty from epilepsy centers and neurophysiology laboratories across the country will present practical information for applying state-of-the-art electrodiagnostic testing in the clinical management of patients with epilepsy and related disorders. The symposium is designed for physicians, technologists and medical professionals.

35th Annual Pediatric Primary Care Conference – Pediatrics at the Beach
July 19-21, 2013 
Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel 

Three half-day sessions include important topics in the areas of emergency medicine, primary care, developmental and behavioral pediatrics. This course is designed for physicians and other health care professionals who deliver primary care to children and adolescents. 

Richmond CME for Docs 
4th Wednesday of each month, 6 - 8 p.m.
Bon Secours Heart Institute, 7001 Forest Avenue, Richmond

A collaboration between Bon Secours Medical Group and the VCU Office of Continuing Medical Education has resulted in a relevant, evidence-based CME series. The monthly lectures are aimed at helping physicians to improve and enjoy the practice of medicine. Offered at no charge to participants, the lectures are open to physicians and physician extenders. 

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Mark your calendars for

Reunion Weekend 2014
April 11-13, 2014
For class years 
ending in a '4 or '9. 

Reunion Weekend 2015
April 17-19, 2015
For class years 
ending in a '5 or '0. 

Annual Fund dollars now go 
100% to support of scholarships! You can give online at the
school's eGiving page.

Check out the upcoming CME offerings from the medical school's Office of Continuing Professional Development & Evaluation Studies including conferences.

Check out the spring 2013 issue of the medical school's Dean’s Discovery Report.

Past issues of SOM
eNews are online.

For More Information: 

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